Coffee Theory

Published Aug 14, 2009 (15 years ago)
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The last modifications of this post were around 15 years ago, some information may be outdated!

Now I can't take credit for any of this, I owe it all to Alton Brown. But for those of you out there that are still wondering how to get that ultimate cup of coffee, here's my approach to things...

Every coffee bean has 3 parts to it. 1/3rd contains the ultimate-drool-coffee-coma flavor, 1/3rd has your standard flavor, and 1/3 of it is the Nasty McBitter stuff. The goal when brewing the perfect cup of coffee is to get the first two parts out of the bean, and not let the bitterness creep in. Part of this process is to gauge how hot the water is to be when extracting the flavor, as well as how long you want the water to be in contact with the beans to extract the flavor.

Interestingly enough, most people fear bitter coffee and put in less grounds than they should. When the coffee maker fires up, all of the grounds are actually getting soaked for too long of a time period in the grounds, and so the coffee comes out bitter. This is also why you'll find that when grinding coffee for brewing via french press you want to have the grounds slightly "chunkier." Since the grounds will be soaking in water, having them slightly larger will prevent too much of the flavor from getting extracted, leaving the bitter 1/3rd of flavor safely within the bean and not in your coffee cup.

So what's the magic formula?

2 tablespoons of grounds for every 6 oz. of water

Yep, that's it. The first time you brew up a pot of coffee (especially if you do a full pot) you're probably going to freak out at the volume of grounds sitting in your basket. Don't fret, just try it. You'll be pleasantly surprised. What you'll get is a stronger tasting coffee, but not a bitter tasting coffee.

Trust me, you'll easily want to drink more coffee once you learn how to eliminate the bitter taste. You'll discover what us fellow coffee junkies/snobs/geeks/weirdos are raving all about. 8^D

This post was inspired partially by the new blog engine that has a lovely coffee theme and also by the fresh pot of New Guinea coffee I got from Costco. Really good stuff and a really reasonable price.